Simmons stuns World in Rising Stars Challenge game
BEN Simmons' historic NBA All-Star weekend has kicked off with a starring performance in his second Rising Stars Challenge game.
Simmons hit 28 points in 20 minutes to lead the way for the World.
Last season, Simmons scored 11 points, 13 assists and six rebounds in a huge performance after being snubbed for an All-Star spot in his rookie season.
The reigning NBA rookie of the year was handed a spot in the All-Star game this season, becoming the first ever Australian to take part in the game.
Although Simmons meant business in the NBA All-Star weekend Rising Star Challenge it wasn't enough for the World Team, who lost the match 161-144.
Simmons threw down dunk after dunk to keep the crowd on its feet as the World continually came back from well down to stay in the match.
But the firepower of the USA side allowed the locals run away with the win.
The LA Lakers' Kyle Kuzma scored 35 points, while the Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum scored 30 and Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young 25 with seven rebounds and 10 assists.
Kuzma's performance was good enough to win the Rising Star MVP award.
Despite being well in the conversation for the MVP after dropping a team-high 28 points as well as recording five rebounds and six assists to lead the World team, Simmons copped some flack on social media for not taking a three-pointer despite the shot looking good in practice.
But it was little worry for the 22-year-old Aussie star, who added plenty of highlight reel plays and would be looking to add a few more with the All-Star game on Monday (AEDT).
"Every time I step on the floor or whatever I'm doing, I'm always representing Australia and especially Philadelphia," he said post-game.
"I have two homes now, it's an amazing feeling I'm representing something much bigger than myself and my family."
In 11 minutes in the first half, Simmons got 18 points, two rebounds and two assists.
Simmons also engaged in a bit of smack talk with Tatum at half-time.
Asked if he could hit another gear in the second half, Simmons said before walking off: "You're about to find out."
Earlier, Simmons said he was eager to show what he could do.
"I think it's just another platform, another opportunity for us to come out here and show what we can do," Simmons told reporters.
"I love being part of the World Team. I think that's one of those things where I love coming to an event like this and playing with guys from all over and finally be able to team up with them.
"It's amazing, for me I think it's a great opportunity to be here in this environment with all these talented players, then have an opportunity to play in the All-Star game and learn from some of the best players in the league.
"I just want to come in and learn as much as I can," Simmons added. "Being on Team LeBron with so many different, talented guys. For me, (I am) trying to pick up some things and learn from them."
"I grew up knowing I wanted to be here to compete against the best and be one of the best players in the world."
- with Peter Mitchell, AAP